Terrain
Satellite
OSM
Three Rivers
FIRE
7,040
acres
12.4 mi
WNW of Ruidoso, NM
50%
contained
Fire Status:
ACTIVE
Last Updated:
14 mins, 46 secs ago
Incident #:
2021-NMLNF-000130
Fire Start:
Monday, April 26, 2021 9:42 AM MDT
Primary Fire Agency

US Forest Service — Lincoln National Forest

Current Weather

Fire Growth Potential

Fire Weather Forecast

Incident Overview Updated: 2 days ago

Incident Photo for the Three Rivers Fire

The Three Rivers Fire was detected about one half mile from the Three Rivers Campground in the Lincoln National Forest at 8:42am on April 26, 2021. It was initially sized at 30 acres, but grew to 6100 acres by 7:00am on April 27, 2021 due to high winds and other favorable climate conditions for increased fire behavior. Local firefighters from the surrounding communities including Ruidoso Fire Department, Nogal Volunteer Fire Department, Lincoln Volunteer Fire Department, Glencoe Volunteer Fire Department, Capitan Volunteer Fire Department, among others worked closely with the USDA Forest Service on initial attack. Approximately 250 community members were impacted by evacuations in the surrounding areas. However, precipitation in the form of both rain and snow began falling on the fire during the night of April 26th and has continued on and off through the week, greatly reducing fire behavior. The fire entered the fire scar of the Little Bear Fire that burned in 2012, which also decreased fire activity as the vegetation was low to the ground and most was considered to be a fine fuel type (burns quickly, but not at a high temperature). At 1:00pm on April 27, 2021, evacuees were allowed to return to their homes with the warning that evacuations could recur if fire behavior increased. By the evening of April 27, 2021, the fire perimeter was sized at 12,000 acres including spot fires, meaning that embers from the main fire had blown into areas of unburned vegetation and caused small fires. Areas of unburned vegetation between the main fire and the spot fires were counted as part of this acreage but were not burned. After more accurate infrared mapping flights were conducted, the burned acres are now listed at 7,033. 

The incident transferred command to a Type 1 Incident Command team from the USDA Forest Service at 6:00am on April 28, 2021. Weather continued to be favorable for fire suppression, but leaders are cautious with public safety as the top priority. Rain and snow as well as mild temperatures for numerous days resulted in mild fire activity. Winds picked back up on Sunday, May 2, 2021, however fire lines continued to hold and there was minimal perimeter growth. After numerous days with no fire growth and minimal fire activity, the fire was transferred to a Type-3 Incident Management Team on May 4, 2021. 

Basic Information

Incident Type:
Wildfire
Cause:
Unknown, Under Investigation
Date of Origin:
Monday April 26th, 2021 approx. 08:00 AM
Location:
North side-Ruidoso, NM South side-Three Rivers CG, Mescalero and Tularosa, NM
Coordinates:
33.402, -105.871

Current Situation

Total Personnel:
70
Size (Acres):
7,033
Containment:
50%
Estimated Containment Date:
Sunday July 04th, 2021 approx. 12:00 AM
Fuels Involved:
Short Grass (1 foot)
Timber (Grass and Understory)
Timber (Litter and Understory)

Narrative:
The fire has primarily been burning in non-compacted cured grasses and dead/downed timber fuels.
- GR2; cured, low load, dry climate grass in previously burned high severity areas
- TU5; very high load, dry climate timber shrub on western aspect drainages
- TL3; moderate load Ponderosa pine litter
- TL8; mixed conifer with woody detritus
Significant Events:
Minimal
Creeping
Smoldering

Narrative:
Continued smoldering and smoke in hotspots and the Little Bear fire scar. Dead and down material is consuming within the fire perimeter.

Planned Outlook

Planned Actions:
Division Z/A will monitor and utilize appropriate tactics where needed to engage the fire.
Division D/G/X will monitor from vantage points and air and utilize appropriate tactics where needed to
engage the fire
Projected Incident Activity:
12 hours:
Continued burning out of isolated smoldering areas. No perimeter growth is expected

24 hours:
Seasonal temperatures, low humidity and high winds are expected.

48 hours:
Smoldering in individual pockets of heat - primarily within the upper reaches of Big Bear Canyon, on the eastern aspect of the South Fork of Rio Bonito, and the small area of heat in the saddle above Indian Creek.

72 hours:
Smoldering in individual pockets of heat - primarily within the upper reaches of Big Bear Canyon and the small area of heat in the saddle above Indian Creek.


Anticipated after 72 hours:
Smoldering in individual pockets of heat - primarily within the upper reaches of
Big Bear Canyon and the small area of heat in the saddle above Indian Creek.
Remarks:
Block #17: Fire is in Lincoln and Otero Counties

Weather Synopsis

Weather Concerns:
Red Flag conditions today, and fore-casted low humidities and
windy conditions through the weekend.

Incident Contact

Incident Contact
Three Rivers Fire Information- Public
Email: 2021.threerivers@firenet.gov
Phone: 575-386-5077
Hours: 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Fire Unit Information
Lincoln National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
3463 Las Palomas
Alamogordo, NM 88310

Dispatch Contact

Alamogordo Dispatch Center | Alamogordo, NM
575-437-2286
https://gacc.nifc.gov/swcc/dc/nmadc/